It’s coming fast—the December 15 date when medical marijuana license applications begin to be accepted in Michigan. We’ve been reading all the documents, letters and notes and offer here some of the most important things to keep in mind if you are a cannabis entrepreneur. And as LARA often mentions, guidelines are subject to change.
1) Licensing will be in two phases—there will be a pre-application portion, which will allow people to move through making an application while securing a location for their enterprise. With many municipalities still finalizing opt-in ordinances, this two-part process makes sense. If all of your materials ready to go, you can apply and complete both phases at once.
2) In phase one, applicants will undergo a background check that is going to be rigorous. The background investigation includes, but is not limited to: a review of the applicant’s criminal and financial history, a review of previous compliance regarding regulation and taxation and a look at your business litigation history, if you have one. You’ll also consent to allow the state to do a background check—for which you’ll pay up to $8000. You’ll be fingerprinted and don’t forget that the State of Michigan wants its licensees to be of good moral character.
3) You’ll need to have a municipality to lined up your business before you can go very far in the process. This is a critical part of your start up business—not every city, village or township in Michigan is willing to change its ordinances to allow marijuana businesses, if you have a location already working through an ordinance, that’s great. If you don’t, finding a locale where businesses are welcome should be your primary task. And the upside is, there are lots of municipalities in Michigan and not all have made decisions on this topic.
4) You’ll need some serious start up capital for that license. The licenses—whether you are growing, testing, processing, transporting or provisioning will be priced on how many applications there are. The more applications, the less expensive it will be. Large scale growers should plan to give the State of Michigan between $8000 (many of applicants) and $57,000 (few applicants). Your municipality will also take no more than $5,000 of your money for it’s part of licensing. Small growers (Class A licenses) will pay no more than $10,000. Other fees are yet to be determined.
5) Recently released (within 10 years) felons need not apply. You won’t be considered for a license. People who have been convicted of a misdemeanor in the last five years are likely not to get a license if it is drug related or involves theft dishonesty or fraud.
6) Elected officials on the state level in Michigan (and any other state or federal government, for that matter) and Michigan State employees are ineligible to apply for a license. Indian tribe elected officials and employees may apply as well as precinct delegates.
7) For growers who want to go big—more than 1500 plants, you will be able to stack your Class C 1500 plant license. Apply (and pay for) multiple licenses. The state hasn’t said how many Class C licenses can be stacked, but this provision could allow for some very large operations.
8) The State of Michigan is allowing co-location of cannabis operations. That means a grower can also have a processing business and a provisioning center in the same location. It’s a great move for entrepreneurs who want to grow, make edibles and have a retail business. It will also be allow secure transportation. This complete package is very appealing and allows for better control of one’s business.
9) In phase two of the application process, after you’ve been background checked, every licensee will need to present plans for information technology, staffing, marketing, inventory, security and recordkeeping.
That marketing plan part—we’re here for you. Canna Communication has deep experience in creating strategic marketing plans. We are a communications firm dedicated solely to cannabis and are passionate about helping you grow your business!